A Dream

Children talk about what they want to be when they 'grow up'; dreams of yonder, and sighs of tomorrow. Unfortunately, they don't realize that it implies one little thing: growing up. A dream is affected by situations and external factors that change it, corrupt it. A dream is an innocent thing when being child, even noble sometimes (a firemen, a doctor, an astronaut), just like a child. Then, through the process of growing up, that dream grows up too. It changes: "Well, maybe not a firemen, too dangerous, why not a chemical engineer? I can still deal with fire and maybe save some lives." Then it comes to the point that it's possible that the dream, when grown up, is a completely different dream with a completely different objective then what it had when it was born... just like us.

I don't have or done many things to be proud of. Being an only child was a crutch that until very recently have I been taking away, and I'm not known as being ambitious. But I do have one thing: my dream.

As I stood there, 12 years old, in front of 30 or so parents and teachers, I recited my speech. It was for a grade for the Oral Communication class, about a week or two before I graduated from junior high. I felt a sudden stroke of steadiness in me while I was shaking like a mad man. I had my notes on my hand and the group in front of me. I started. The topic was about my top ten most influential persons; I don't remember them all, although I do believe I included the persons who helped cleaned the school as one of the top ones (I liked talking to them). Everybody was looking at me, not with the comfortless stare that I was accustomed at the beginnings of puberty, but with interest and surprising wonder. I loved it, and I craved it from then on.

I found myself directing small study groups where it was mostly me over at the blackboard explaining a problem, or everybody gathered around me and my laptop seeing how to debug lines of code. My geekiness strived around the fact that it didn't really matter if I masterfully knew the subject that I was talking about, it was about how well I transmitted what I knew about it that made the difference. Einstein, although a great mind, was a terrible teacher because he didn't know how to conduct himself in front of a group of persons.

It was during my high school years that I confirmed my dream, my 'What am I Going to Be When I Grow Up?' story: I want to be a teacher. It hasn't changed after high school; no matter what has happened around me, it just keeps getting harder and harder to steer me away from it. It also really doesn't matter if I'm in a school or not (although, I rather be in one), while for an hour or so I'm in front of a group of people and they grant me that beautiful "Oh! So, that's how it's done." And some decades later, I receive the news that one of my students made it big and became a teacher, and loves it as much as me.

Such is my everlasting dream, and tis' I: the dreamer.

Using a Motorola L6 to Connect a Powerbook G4 to the Internet by UK T-Mobile

EDIT: Sept. 5, 2009. The information presented in this post is possibly out of date. Specifically, the dial-up telephone number is suspected to have been suspended by T-Mobile UK. For information on how to use this same mobile as a GPRS-capable modem in Snow Leopard (Mac OS 10.6), please read this other post.

I've always liked the idea of being able to connect to the Internet from anywhere. I'm a PhD student after all, the Internet is my life now. The problem is when I'm not near a Wireless Hotspot or an Ethernet port. Cellular Signals are the next best thing: my mobile here in the U.K. has Bluetooth, my Powerbook G4 has Bluetooth. There should be a way to use my phone as a sort of modem for the laptop. Well, yes, apparently there is.

It took some time to figure out, not because it was difficult, but because T-Mobile (my carrier) doesn't give a lot of information for the appropriate setting to make this happen.

As it says on the title of this post, I used a Motorola L6 phone. My Powerbook G4 has Mac OS X 10.4.11 installed. No other software was needed.

First, I paired the phone with the laptop. It's a pretty straighforward process, I just needed to turn on Bluetooth on the Mac and on the phone and make it be discoverable. During such process though, it was important for the Mac to know that it can use the phone as a modem; almost at the end it asks such question. It can use the phone as a modem in two ways; the Motorola L6 and T-Mobile work with GPRS, so that option should be checked.

After that, it will ask for what script/driver to use and other information that T-Mobile for some reason doesn't make public, but I found them and I know for a fact that they work.

Script/Driver: Motorola iR TimePort (7089). (This one took a long while to uncover...)
Telephone Number: +447953968999
Account Name: user
Password: wap

Before you hit that "Connect" button, though, go to Systems Preferences, make it show the Bluetooth settings. Then, under the PPP tab, click on PPP Options and uncheck "Use TCP header compression". Apparently, it doesn't like it when the header is compressed, complains about it quite a lot in the logs to the point that it crashes the pppd process, leaving the device unreachable afterwards (something about failing to open the device file, because of permissions).

Also, be aware that even though I can now potentially connect to the Internet anywhere there is a cellular signal, it is very slow (took almost half a minute to pull up Google.com) and very costly (it is making a call after all) so, even though it's a nice choice for connectivity, it should just be a very nice last choice.